181,405 babies were born in Israel in 2016, a rise of 92 percent compared to 1980, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported today, releasing data on fertility and reproduction in Israel. The data shows that, contrary to past beliefs, there were more males than females born; 93,364 of the newborns were males (51.5%) compared with 88,041 females (48.5%).
The data also shows that the average number of children born to a woman was 3.11 - higher than the OECD total. Among Jewish women, the average was even higher and stood at 3.16 per woman. 139,400 (76.8%) of the births in 2016 were to Jewish and other women and 42,005 (23.2%) were to Arab women. By religion, 73.9% of the babies were born to Jewish women, 20.7% to Muslim women, 1.4% to Christians, 1.3% to Druze and 2.6% to women whose religion was not classified in the population registry.
The average age of the mother rose from 2000 by a year and five months and stood at 30.4 years. In 2016, women gave birth to their first child at the age of 27.6 on average, their second child at 29.6 years and the third at 31.9 on average.
Approximately 6.9% (9,211) of the babies were born to unmarried women. 76.2% of those were born to unmarried women, 23.2% to divorced women and the rest to widows. The data also shows that the birthrate among unmarried women was 10.9 per 1,000 unmarried women, compared with only 3.2 per cent in 1980.
About 4.65 of the newborns were born in multiple births, 97% of them twins. The Central Bureau of Statistics attributed the increasing rate of multiple births in Israel to the increase in use of IVF treatments.
Translation by Chaya Eisenberg.